A Wellington parent whose young child is currently attending a playgroup and who would like to get her child into kindergarten asked ChildForum the following two questions:
"Some mums send their children to two kindergartens where as other mums have to wait. Are there going to be policies in place to stop parents taking two spaces?"
"The Waiting List at kindergartens - some children aren't starting until they are 3 years 6 months. Are there plans to reduce the waiting list time?"
From the parent's point of view the answers are not what she would want to hear. Wellington Kindergartens Association current Administration Policy on Enrolment states that it is permitted for families to be registered and on the waiting list and enrolled/attending more than one kindergarten. Teachers can accept current attendance by the child at another Kindergarten or early childhood centre.
For example a parent may choose to attend Khandallah Kindergarten for one set of sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays, and Campbell St Kindergarten for another set of sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or perhaps do full-days at Ngaio Kindergarten on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and at Northland Kindergarten on Tuesdays and Fridays.
While it is not unusual for a child to attend ECE services that differ in what they provide e.g. a kindergarten in the morning and a nanny or home-based care in the afternoon, it has not been the practice for kindergartens to allow children to be enrolled at another kindergarten at the same time. With many kindergartens shifting to full-day sessions or changing their traditional pattern of hours a possibility of sharing children between kindergartens has opened up. Accepting the enrolment of an older child already attending one kindergarten can reduce the need to accept a younger child to fill a vacant space.
Multiple enrolments helps to boost the number of children recorded as participating in early childhood education because a child may be recorded twice. There is a lack of data on how prevalent (or not) this is.